Wednesday, January 24, 2018

NSA 'Glomars' FOIA Request on Boyd Bushman

The National Security Agency responded to an FOIA request on the late Boyd B. Bushman by neither confirming nor denying the existence of any such files. The request sought files in which Bushman was the subject of investigation or interviewed during the course of an investigation.

An appeal is in the works, requesting further consideration be given to the fact Bushman is now deceased. It will also be pointed out that, should such NSA files exist, it may very well be in the better public and national security interests to further reveal the manners attempts may be made to lure individuals holding security clearances into divulging classified information under the guise of advocating UFO disclosure.

Bushman & questionable photo
reportedly obtained from a contact 
Bushman was employed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, as explored in a previous post at The UFO Trail. According to a now declassified 1999 FBI memo, Bushman was a U.S. national who worked as a Senior Specialist in the Special Programs department, holding Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information/Special Access Program security clearances. The memo establishes Lockheed Martin was concerned of an ongoing attempt to elicit Lockheed Martin proprietary or U.S. government classified information from Bushman. Further documents released by the FBI revealed that investigation increased concerns over security of weapons projects and other classified information, as well as issues surrounding Bushman's contacts. Such contacts included an individual with a history of allegations of misconduct, violations of security and classified information handling procedures, and suspicious contact with foreign nationals, among other concerns listed.

Bushman became the subject of attention in the UFO community when he was interviewed in a 2014 video. The now-deceased scientist emphasized his belief in an extraterrestrial presence, described what he believed to be a government cover up, and suggested that he and his circles of associates desired to lift the veil of secrecy imposed by such hurdles as security oaths. Bushman claimed he and his personal contacts discussed such topics as aliens at Area 51 and related advances in technology. The declassified FBI files indicate the former Lockheed Martin specialist was networking with a variety of individuals.

During the 2014 interview, Bushman shared photos, apparently provided by a contact, allegedly portraying extraterrestrials. The photos are almost certainly inauthentic, as researchers demonstrated the images were much more likely figurines sold at WalMart than aliens.

In a three-page letter dated Jan. 11, 2018, Michael Shields of the NSA wrote in part: 
To the extent that you are seeking intelligence information on Boyd B. Bushman, please be advised that NSA collects and provides intelligence derived from foreign communications to policymakers, military commanders, and law enforcement officials. We do this to help these individuals protect the security of the United States, its allies, and their citizens from threats such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, foreign espionage, international organized crime, and other hostile activities. What we are authorized to do, and how we do it, is described in Executive Order 12333...
To respond to your request, NSA would have to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records on Boyd B. Bushman. Were we to do so in your case, we would have to do so for every other requester. This would enable, for example, a terrorist or other adversary to file a FOIA request with us in order to determine whether he or she was under surveillance or had evaded it. This in turn would allow that individual to better assess whether they could successfully act to damage the national security of the United States. For such reasons, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of the records you requested.
The FOIA exempts several categories of information from disclosure. Its first exemption indicates that it does not apply to matters that are authorized by Executive Order to be kept secret and properly classified in the interest of national defense or foreign relations. The fact of the existence or non-existence of intelligence records on any individual, including yourself, is an appropriately classified matter. Paragraph 3.6(a) of Executive Order 13526 ("Classified National Security Information") specifically authorizes this type of response, also known as a Glomar response, to such requests made under the FOIA.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

DIA: More Time Needed for UFO-Pentagon FOIA Requests

Shot from video published in conjunction with reports of AATIP,
a Pentagon UFO venture involving Robert Bigelow
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provided an interim response for an FOIA request seeking clarification about the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The DIA indicated more time is needed to process the request. A letter dated Jan. 10, 2018, and composed by FOIA and Declassification Services Office Chief Alesia Y. Williams, stated in part:
This is an interim response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated December 23, 2017, requesting copies of all contracts pertaining to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, (AATIP) this includes contracts undertaken and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace...
We will be unable to respond to your request within the FOIA's 20 day statutory time period due to unusual circumstances. These unusual circumstances could be: (a) the need to search for and collect records from a facility geographically separated from this office; (b) the potential volume of records responsive to your request; and (c) the need for consultation with one or more other agencies which have substantial interest in either the determination or the subject matter of the records. For these reasons, your request has been placed in our queue and will be worked in the order the request was received. Our current administrative workload is in excess of 1,139 requests.

The body of the original Dec. 23, 2017, FOIA request contained the following:
Please provide copies of all contracts pertaining to the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. This includes contracts undertaken with and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace.
All paperwork is requested concerning the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, as recently reported by major news outlets to have operated no less than 2007 to 2012. Requested are all reports composed by personnel of the program, reports submitted by funding recipients of the program, lists of contractors and subcontractors, and any related files and information.

A second similar request was submitted, seeking "copies of all contracts undertaken with and funding provided to the National Institute for Discovery Science. Likely date ranges would include 1995 to 2004."

Chief Williams responded, indicating once again that more time was required. Both interim response letters were dated Jan. 10, 2018.


Further reading:

UFO-Pentagon Story Reflects Fundamental Problems

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Gene Steinberg Personal 'Emergency' Cash Solicitations Span Years, Hundreds of Emails

Gene Steinberg solicited cash donations from an e-list hundreds of times since 2014 and earlier, including 139 emails during 2017, for circumstances framed as financial emergencies. Screenshots of subject lines of many of the emails are posted below. A list of the 2017 emails by subject line and date is provided at the end of this post.

The dozens of 2017 messages continued what has become an ongoing story of financial destitution narrated for years by the host of The Paracast. The money, according to Steinberg's emails, was needed for such personal expenses as rent, utilities, and groceries, often described as crises and nightmares. The emails contained a PayPal link and instructions for sending funds, as has been the case in years past. 

Steinberg messages to the e-list from 2016, with December through July followed by June to January:

Steinberg 2015 personal cash solicitations, followed by dozens more from 2014:

According to several of the 139 Steinberg emails sent in 2017, he was unable to find a way to regularly pay rent throughout the year, reporting impending evictions on multiple occasions. He would then undertake fundraising drives for what was described to the e-list as either getting caught up on rent or relocating to another residence. The recurring scenarios included Steinberg's criticism of landlords and property managers, seemingly for expecting payments, which by his own accounts were owed yet delivered sporadically if at all. 

"I've pretty much run out of excuses to persuade the property manager to let us stay in this home," Steinberg wrote in an Aug. 15 message to the e-list, a typically provided description of the housing situations. 

Such narratives were recurring for years. It was not clear why Steinberg repeatedly enters into rental agreements he cannot afford, but emails from multiple years clarify the scenario is frequently reported.

Additional urgencies reported to the e-list during 2017 included a fall at a grocery store, automobile troubles, and his wife's health, among others. Steinberg's pleas for cash were in several instances accompanied by claims his bank account balance was so low he would have difficulty affording food if recipients did not act. 

Such assertions were common, as were claims of working more than ever and putting in extra hours. Exactly what was meant by such terms as "extra hours" was not clarified for email recipients. An accounting of how much income Steinberg earned per month - and how reportedly working more than ever chronically left him impoverished - were also not included in the ongoing emails.

The themes have been consistently repeated since years predating 2014. A sample of quotes from Steinberg cash solicitations since 2010 and sent to his e-list as provided by a contact:


Steinberg's perpetual personal fundraising has long drawn criticism. Some feel his credibility is strained. Others suggest even if his claims are to be accepted, his money-managing competency is drawn into question due to what has now become years of rationalizing his failure to take care of himself. Community members have questioned the practicality of contributing cash when years of cash solicitations to help him "get past this nightmare" only lead to more cash solicitations. Similarly, others question Steinberg's judgment about conducting such email activities within a genre with a history of being targeted for exploitation and a reputation for harboring charlatans. 

"Why must this be an issue?" Steinberg replied Dec. 27 when offered an opportunity to provide comment on his ongoing emails for inclusion in this blog post. A short time later in a second email he vaguely suggested "fake news" is circulating about him but did not directly address his perpetual cash solicitation campaign.

Christopher O'Brien, a writer, researcher, and longtime Steinberg co-host at Paracast, was offered an opportunity to comment on Steinberg's email cash solicitation activities. He did not immediately respond to a Dec. 27 email. 

The 2017 solicitations peaked in August, when 19 of the year's total 139 cash requests were sent to the e-list. The August total was followed by June with 17, while May and December had 14 email cash solicitations each. The messages contained descriptions of living conditions framed as dire and urgent, along with the PayPal link. The least active month was March, when Steinberg sent four emails, consisting of the subject lines Back to Zero!The Agony Continues!Monday Update!, and Please Help!.

In an undated post at Paracast Steinberg stated he first began requesting donations for reasons surrounding a relative's misfortune in 2003. According to Steinberg, the circumstances left his personal finances devastated.

"The 2007 recession made it difficult to find outside work for a while, but conditions are getting better," the podcaster attempted to further explain in the Paracast post.  

Whether one interprets such statements to help or hinder his efforts to defend his financial competency and integrity, in 2010 - now over seven years ago - Steinberg posted at the Binnall of America forum that his "financial shortfall is strictly temporary":

Such projections of improving finances were dramatically miscalculated if Steinberg's continuing claims of empty pockets are accurate. The reported expectations of future prosperity are nonetheless common within the ongoing narrative. 

"First of all, my long-term money situation is getting better. I'm not there yet, but I've made real progress," Steinberg wrote in an Apr. 26 email while requesting funds from recipients, his 30th such email of the year at that point. In spite of projecting a better money situation and claiming to be making progress, he proceeded to send the list well over 100 more solicitations for cash gifts before the end of the year.

In July I received an email from an individual suggesting Steinberg conducts additional email solicitations specifically tailored for past donors. The person explained they regretfully sent Steinberg money when they didn't know the claims of hardships had been going on for years. Now they receive requests for cash in addition to his financial pleas sent to the regular e-list, they wrote. The person added they had recently received the following and assume others who gave him money in the past get similar messages:

The use of such terms as "miracle" and "nightmare" were common throughout the years of emails.

In a Sep. 1 email titled, Paying it forward!, the podcaster and forum host described his life situation in the context of victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas who were "also suffering." In what appeared to be an effort to persuade the e-list to redirect donations to him that would otherwise be sent to support clean up and humanitarian relief efforts, Steinberg suggested to the email recipients he would "give back" to participating charities in the future if readers would send their money to him instead. 

"So I realize most of you would rather donate to the Red Cross and other charities trying to make a difference," Steinberg wrote.

"But I will do this: If you are able to set aside some money to help me with my situation, I'll make sure to give back on an ongoing basis to those in Texas who are also suffering."

No updates were offered to the e-list on the commitment. Neither were explanations forthcoming of how such ongoing giving would be possible in light of Steinberg's chronically claimed lack of money.

Subject lines and dates of Gene Steinberg's 139 email personal cash solicitations sent in 2017:

December (14)

New Year's Wishes!                                               Dec 31

Pins and Needles!                                                  Dec 27

Christmas Eve Update!t [sic]                                  Dec 24

A few more days!                                                  Dec 20

Waiting for the faceless corporation to act!              Dec 15

It's still possible to save me!                                  Dec 12

I fear it may be too late!                                        Dec 10

The last days...!                                                    Dec 8

Number of homeless people in U.S. increases           Dec 6

Help! (Update 3!)                                                   Dec 5

Help! (Update 2!)                                                   Dec 3

Help! (Update!)                                                      Dec 3

Help!                                                                     Dec 2

Is this my last weekend?                                         Dec 1

November (10)

Here we go again!                                                  Nov 28

Another frustrating weekend!                                  Nov 27

Nothing is working!                                                Nov 24

Expecting a grim Thanksgiving!                               Nov 21

Mid-November update!                                           Nov 17

Hoping for a new start!                                           Nov 15

Another weekend emergency!                                 Nov 11

A tiny bit of luck!                                                    Nov 10

Fighting for the Future!                                           Nov 7

Stuck on empty!                                                     Nov 2

October (12)

Monday update!                                                      Oct 30

About the stalkers!                                                  Oct 27

Playing the waiting game!                                        Oct 26

Up against another deadline!                                    Oct 23

Stuck in a holding pattern!                                       Oct 20

In dangerous waters!                                               Oct 18

The Impossible Mission!                                           Oct 15

Never a moment's peace!                                         Oct 13

Mid-October update!                                                Oct 11

Coping with a nightmare!                                         Oct 9

Maybe a problem?                                                   Oct 4

Running and running to catch up!                             Oct 2

September (11)

A Friday crisis!                                                        Sep 29

I'm making slow progress!                                       Sep 28

Is there a road back?                                               Sep 26

Mortal Thoughts!                                                     Sep 22

Health Update!                                                        Sep 20

Taking a fall!                                                           Sep 18

A progress report!                                                   Sep 14

Coping with the rest of my life!                                 Sep 11

Early September update!                                          Sep 7

Paying it forward!                                                     Sep 1

Looking for a future!                                                 Sep 1

August (19)

I'm still here - barely!                                               Aug 29 

Here are the stakes!                                                 Aug 27

There's still a little time!                                            Aug 26

It's down to the wire!                                                Aug 26

Crunch Time - Update!                                              Aug 25 

Please help me survive moving day!                           Aug 25

It's crunch time!                                                       Aug 25

Closer to the end!                                                     Aug 24

The end of the road!                                                  Aug 22

Believing in Miracles!                                                 Aug 22

Keeping a roof over my head: Another two days!         Aug 21  

A Quick Friday Update!                                              Aug 18

Urgent!                                                                    Aug 17

I fear the worst!                                                        Aug 15

I haven't made much progress!                                  Aug 13

I need some help - fast!                                             Aug 9

It's hard to stay optimistic!                                         Aug 7

I'm struggling to get my life back!                               Aug 3

I wonder how much time I have left!                           Aug 1

July (10)

Another terrible weekend!                                          July 31

So I'm broke again this weekend!                               July 22

Thursday's Update!                                                   July 20

I'm just out of ideas!                                                 July 19

The clock is ticking!                                                   July 18

A morning nightmare!                                                July 10

I'm at a stopping point!                                              July 6

I wonder how much time I have left!                           July 5

A stressful holiday weekend!                                       July 4

So the landlord cancelled my lease!                             July 2

June (17)

I hope I'm not done for!                                            June 27

What am I supposed to do?                                       June 26

Urgent update!                                                         June 25

I fear this is a losing cause!                                       June 25

Is this the last weekend with a roof over my head?      June 24

I'm losing hope!                                                        June 22

Accident Update!                                                       June 20

Now I'm an accident survivor!                                    June 19

I'm still coping with a possible emergency!                  June 18

I bought a little more time, but not a lot!                    June 15

There's still time for you to help!                                June 14

Facing life in the street!                                             June 13

I'm losing hope!                                                        June 11

I'm trying to remain optimistic,                                  June 9
but it's getting harder!

Its [sic] still hopeless!                                               June 8

I'm about to lose everything!                                     June 7

From Bad to Worse!                                                  June 5

May (14)

Emergency Rent Update!                                           May 31

My Last Day?                                                            May 31

Only a Few Days Left!                                                May 29

Forced Out!                                                              May 26

The Fastest Way to Help!                                           May 24

Down to the Wire Again!                                            May 23

My Golden Years                                                       May 18

Drowning                                                                 May 17

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back                             May 15

Very Slow Progress!                                                   May 10

Just to Clarify My Situation                                         May 8

A Really Bad Weekend!                                              May 7

Back to Zero!                                                            May 5

My Impossible Situation!                                            May 1

April (5)

The May 1st Deadline                                                Apr 30

My Wife is About to Lose Her Health Insurance            Apr 28

My End-of-Month Deadlines                                       Apr 26

Friday Update!                                                          Apr 7

An Update on Barbara@ [sic]                                     Apr 4

March (4)

Back to Zero!                                                           Mar 21

The Agony Continues!                                               Mar 7

Monday Update!                                                       Mar 6

Please Help!                                                             Mar 2

February (13)

A Huge March Emergency!                                        Feb 28

Old and Broke!                                                         Feb 27

By a Slender Thread!                                                Feb 21

$1,200 in 24 Hours!                                                  Feb 19

Another Critical Update!                                            Feb 18

There is Still Time!                                                    Feb 16

Landlord Update!                                                      Feb 15

Only a Few Days Left!                                               Feb 13

Preparing for Another Impossible Weekend!                Feb 10

Emergency Update!                                                   Feb 8

I'm Close to Failure!                                                  Feb 7

Still on the Brink!                                                      Feb 6

Living on the Brink!                                                   Feb 2

January (10)

Please Don't Let Me Lose This Battle!                          Jan 31

Another Bad Weekend!                                              Jan 29

Still struggling                                                          Jan 25

Another Barren Weekend!                                          Jan 23

A Few Dollars Less!                                                   Jan 16

Saturday...                                                               Jan 14

A Bad Start for the New Year!                                    Jan 12

Overwhelmed!                                                          Jan 9

Making Do in 2017                                                    Jan 6

My Goals for 2017                                                     Jan 2